How frugal am I being?

Since my decision a couple of weeks ago to be more frugal I have had a few 'situations' and I thought I would think through them today and see how true to our decisions we have been.

Car engine in Fahed's car blew up. It was an LPG conversion in an attempt to be frugal and as green as you can be with massive 4 x 4. In all honesty its been a pain from the the time we bought it back in 2004. This is already its third engine. We tried to be frugal with keeping the same car for years and with using LPG but it wasn't enough.

So now we have made a decision. Frankie the Frontera is being retired. Instead of replacing the engine (again)he is being hopefully stripped of his gas system to be sold separately and then Fahed & the kids say they are going to fix the car themselves. Apparently Frankie is going to be a teaching aid. If they fail then we can sell the parts I guess but on the off chance that they succeed then he will be taken out to the Crete House to live a happy retirement in the sun (if it ever gets that far I will be astonished but re-sell value is nothing in one peice so I dont mind them trying).

So what is he doing for transport? There is no public transport tot where he works so its another car. He has gone for a smaller model, a Vauxhall Astra, with a diesel engine. Its about 4 years old. They retail at around £7k to £8k but we have bought one with only 20000 miles on the clock, but which needs a new gear box. It was for sale for £4k (we did check with our mechanic before buying it). Astonishingly Fahed explained that our budget was only for £3k and were they interested? Astonishingly they were. Our mechanic John says the gear box change will be max £800. So I am pretty sure we have got our new and more efficient car for £3800. I think I am pretty please with this.

The dishwasher broke last week and Fahed & Jamal got the parts and fixed it. That must get us some good frugal points as it saved money we didn't replace with a new one and washing the dishes in the machine apparently wastes less water and power than by hand. Which is good because I apparently hate washing up.

Now come a couple of things where I have done the frugal thing (mend rather than replace) but which are very unfrugal. The TV has broken. We have had it for five years so it is not very electrically efficient. We looked at fixing it ourselves but it thought it might be a bit risky, even for us. So we sent it off to a local company to be looked at. Cost so far is £85 but the company have been less than efficient. They were picking it up Monday morning early and turned up at 5pm. They were coming back to us the next day about what the problem was. We phoned on Friday and they hadn't yet looked at it but would call us by Saturday. Actually we have heard nothing since. I hope they are better at repairing TV's that their organisational skills suggest.

Lastly I have been trying to dry all of my washing by hanging in the conservatory, since the tumble dryer died. We made a conscious decision not to repair it as it uses so much power. It was fine in summer, not that we had much summer, but when it stopped being sunny and dry then things when bad. The conservatory is always full of wet clothes. As we don't have anything much by way of doors yet then the damp seems to be permeating the whole house. I asked Fahed to fixed the tumble dryer. Its lovely and I feel like I have my house back. I will do my best to wash only what needs washing and drying but otherwise the tumble dryer is back in use through the damper days of winter. Washing will still be going out of the line on sunny/windy days. My new, to me washing machine does spin the washing pretty well so hopefully the power bill doesn't go up too much.

I feel we might have managed 6/10 in frugalness?

MW, if you see this, your blog wont let me comment. The box doesn't come up at all


  1. Brilliant post, as usual.
    I try daily to cut down our usage on the world, but like you am drawing a blank when it comes to drying laundry on a cold/rainy day.
    I try hard not to (and fail totally) be envious of those with a sunny window or a wood burner or multifuel stove: all I can do is only wash clothes when they really need it, hand a few things over the bath with the window open to avoid damp (brrrr: means cold bedrooms) and use the tumble drier. Having said that, our fuel bills are halved from where they were three years ago, so we must be doing something right! Bloggy love, FM x

  2. We are in that mid damp season when clothes aren't drying that well in the house. Once our heat is on for good, then the air inside gets dry enough it does a good job (overnight to a couple days). So we use the dryer for heavier things for now.

    I'm not sure what is going on with the comments. I checked the settings and it hasn't been turned off. Hopefully it is just a Blogger glitch.

    By the way, does your mortgage number include the house in Crete and property in Syria? If so, getting all of it done in 16 years would be pretty fantastic.

  3. Hi Fostermummy
    Yes definitely easier to be frugal in summer. Big windows in the front of the house would be the answer. The back gets no sun at all here but at least it means we don't overheat in summer. Once we replace the TV will be better but we are doing okay.

  4. Hi MW
    There was article in the paper this week that drying laundry inside is causing health problems so I am going with combo of out doors and tumble.
    Oh yes, 16 years all in for everything. I am trying quite hard!


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